May Sarton

Poet, Author

1912 – 1995


Who was May Sarton?

May Sarton is the pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton, an American poet, novelist, and memoirist.

Famous Quotes:

  • The creative person, the person who moves from an irrational source of power, has to face the fact that this power antagonizes. Under all the superficial praise of the creative is the desire to kill. It is the old war between the mystic and the nonmystic, a war to the death.
  • Most people have to talk so they won't hear.
  • It is the privilege of those who fear love to murder those who do not fear it!
  • It was completely fruitless to quarrel with the world, whereas the quarrel with oneself was occasionally fruitful and always, she had to admit, interesting.
  • A man with a talent does what is expected of him, makes his way, constructs, is an engineer, a composer, a builder of bridges. It's the natural order of things that he construct objects outside himself and his family. The woman who does so is aberrant. We have to expiate for this cursed talent someone handed out to us, by mistake, in the black mystery of genetics.
  • There is only one real deprivation... and that is not to be able to give one's gifts to those one loves most.
  • Self-respect is nothing to hide behind. When you need it most it isn't there.
  • We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
  • One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.
  • May we agree that private life is irrelevant? Multiple, mixed, ambiguous at best -- out of it we try to fashion the crystal clear, the singular, the absolute, and that is what is relevant; that is what matters.

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May 3, 1912
Also known as
  • Eleanore Marie Sarton
  • Sarton, May
  • Unitarian Universalism
  • Belgian American
  • Belgium
  • United States of America
  • Shady Hill School
Lived in
  • Maine
Jul 16, 1995

on July 23, 2013


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